Drought advisory May 2022

State map with county lines showing drought advisory status in Eastern Washington
May 26, 2022

Most of Eastern Washington — from the Cascade foothills eastward to the Idaho border — is downgraded to Drought Advisory status.

In the Drought Advisory areas, forecasted streamflow is expected to remain above the state threshold for drought conditions in areas fed by snowpack at higher elevations in the Cascades, Blue Mountains, or Rocky Mountains to the east and in Canada.

Within this broad region, however, are areas chiefly dependent on precipitation in the form of rain and lower elevation tributaries. Over the past several years, a significant precipitation deficit has developed on the east side. Precipitation has varied from 50 to 90 percent of normal. 

Map that shows the percent of normal precipitation with the eastern side of the state in reds and oranges.

Precipitation Climate Map - Percent of Normal Precipitation

Water users dependent on shallow groundwater are advised to monitor their water levels to ensure they don’t unknowingly draw water down below their pumping levels. Springs and ponds in these areas may also dry up sooner than usual due to the lack of groundwater discharge to surface sources.

A drought advisory may be issued ahead of a drought emergency when it appears that drought conditions may develop. Drought advisories seek to increase awareness and readiness of affected water users. A drought advisory may suggest steps, like reducing water use, to conserve water. This can help water users plan, prepare, and even reduce the impact of drought conditions.

Drought advisories are a process adopted in 2020. Drought advisories are informational only, and include no emergency authorizations or funding.